The recipe against digital addiction in minors

The use of information and communication technologies has presented a worrying increase in the habits of use by the population of minors and adolescents. The study ‘Use of technology by minors’ by the National Observatory of Technology and Society (ONSE) supports this statement by offering remarkable data on the digital use of minors. In recent years, the use of the Internet and digital media has increased by 5 points compared to that achieved in subsequent years.

In addition, the National Institute of Statistics (INE) certifies that 97.9% of Andalusians between the ages of 10 and 15 are minor Internet users, from communities that are within the national average. The highest percentage is held by Ceuta with 100%. Against Melilla, at least with 94%.

The latest update to highlight this problem are the results published in a specific section of the Studies study. It is about the behaviors that occur with technologies in minors and adolescents. This study reports a 3 point increase in internet growth, from 20% to 23.5% in the last study conducted in 2018. Studies show that girls have the highest growth rate compared to boys at a early age.

Dr. Luisa Pardo González, psychologist and director of the Avenida de la Estación Psychological Medical Center, offers a series of guidelines not only for the summer period but for the whole year. Pardo warns that “for these parameters to achieve optimal results, everything must be built on multidisciplinary support between parents and minors supervised by behavioral psychology therapy.”

Some examples that can be taken to guide minors and adolescents towards healthy behavior are, first of all, encouraging sports and social activities in public places such as parks, beaches, recreational areas so that doctors get to know those affected and shape them virtually. ”.

On the other hand, for a correct answer, introduce schedules for minors that have pauses in the use of devices and most of the hours between real and digital experiences to “get used to life without digital media”. One of the tools that can be implemented on devices is time-specific usage limits, which are already present on Apple devices.

Along with other guidelines, a communicative awareness should also be created between parents and children to communicate the benefits and risks of excessive use of screens to “remove the fear” of the world so attractive at their age.

According to Dr. Pardo, addiction to networks and abuse of screens “can be taken as a drug of the digital age in itself, as daily addictions.” He insists on recognizing this as something that exists in our days and that “these become priority issues in constant consultation.” The specialist emphasizes that the accompaniment and treatment of this addiction requires the understanding of the minor and the support of an environment that helps him to be recognized in the real world.

For his part, the Pardo expert highlights that “we must be clear about the distinction between three fundamental concepts; use, abuse and addiction. Furthermore, he explains, “using the web in this digital age is something of a habit.” Yes, it is common among all. Abuse is behavior that takes place on the borderline of attitude while addictions change your way of life and your situations.

Another team

Other possible approaches are being studied by professional teams from the capital of Almería, for what seems to be a very current problem.

To combat this uncontrolled use of digital media, the Almería Provincial Council has been a pioneer in implementing next year a manual for professionals, ‘Education in the Positive Use of Information and Communication Technologies’. The fundamental objective is to promote the good and healthy use of technologies and to exercise a social commitment with minors in the professional field. The project has the support of professionals from social services, youth, family, etc.

Institutional support for this document is essential for its correct implementation and operation, as well as the coordination and reciprocity of the various provincial institutions.

The Provincial Drug Addiction Service (SPDA), dependent on the council, is in charge of editing and producing this document by Lucia Fernández Sánchez, an activist on your list. This brief will also prepare both the health delegation and provincial council teams to work together. In addition, various programs are offered, such as Forma Joven, which attends to and comprehensively watches over the well-being of the people most vulnerable to these behaviors, such as adolescents and minors.

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